Previously in Birthright #14
Well, that was one curve ball I did not see coming! I wonder how long Williamson had Grandpa Rhodes on the storyboard, just waiting to show us that this is a family affair and not just the story of the would be hero from a distant land destined to be the savior of a war torn planet. It was so good, and the art in this issue were some of Bressan’s best. The “Luke I am your father”…I mean, grandfather reveal was great and a surprising piece of the Birthright story.
The issue begins with where it left off last month with Rya and Wendy being held by the questionable Mastema, and she wants to know what happened to Mikey. Rya recounts how Rook brought Mikey to Terrenos as a boy, and raised and trained him to be the warrior hero of Terrenos. There was a great double page of Mikey’s evolution from the “snot-nosed brat who missed his parents” to “leader of all the free citizens of Terrenos.”
Mastema gives us a new interpretation of the prophecy the story has continued to tell us about Mikey in some form or another. Her retelling of Mikey’s destiny is a little different than the one we have been told over and over again. She says “destiny is not a black and white concept.” Mastema further explains that Mikey has not lost yet, and his journey is only over with his death. But she is puzzled by him joining Lore and what could be the purpose of that. I have a feeling family and love has something to do with it.
Meanwhile, Mikey and Brennan are fighting off Agent Kylen’s SWAT team. There are some very good fight sequences in this exchange. But the fight ends when one of the men shoots Mikey in the leg. With Mikey down, Brennan and Aaron are captured as well. The scene looks hopeless until an unexpected guest crashes the party. Not only are Mikey and Brennan surprised to see Sameal do his best Batman impression with smoke and everything, but Agent Kylen is startled to see his old friend too. Sameal offers to heal Mikey but they have to get him to his lair. Brennan calls foul and asks why he is helping them – Mikey did try to kill him a couple of issues ago. Then the big reveal: He is Aaron’s father! Now we know why he was popping in and out of his life.
Oh and one last thing, Agent Kylen having lost Mikey and Brennan (again), has to get more men who will keep what happened a secret… and that means he kills all of the men he has now. This was some of the best writing as Kylen is talking to himself and the captain of the SWAT team does not have a clue what Kylen is talking about right before he kills them.
Agent Kyle: “It’s really horrible that Mikey and Sameal killed your whole team.”
The Captain: “They’ll just have a bunch of bumps and scratches and bruised egos, but they’re hardly dead!”
It was crazy good. And of course he will blame the deaths on Mikey and crew so the “higher ups” see Mikey as more of a threat.
This was a great issue as far as surprises, the art, and writing is concerned. It may not have been as big of an issue as issue 12 with its twists and turns, but it was huge for Mikey’s and Brennan’s storylines. The art was great and could tell the story on its own at times. Best examples being the “Evolution of Mikey” spread and the “Spirit Smoke is out to get you!” spread. The “Spirit Smoke” was probably one of the best in the series not because of the amount of detail (which there was plenty), but because of the movement of the scene. It takes the reader with the characters as it moves. The reader can almost feel themselves in the scene and how scared the men were as one by one they get picked off in fantastically different ways. So good! This was an amazing issue with new information and questions being posed, fantastic art, and what a surprising ending!